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Intervirology. 2013;56(2):114-21. doi: 10.1159/000343753. Epub 2013 Jan 5.

EBNA-2 -deleted Epstein-Barr virus from P3HR-1 can infect rabbits with lower efficiency than prototype Epstein-Barr virus from B95-8.

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Division of Molecular Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University, Tottori, Japan.



To clarify characteristics on rabbit in vivo infection with type 2 EBV nuclear antigen (EBNA-2)-deleted Epstein-Barr virus (P3HR-1-EBV) and compare infectious efficacy of P3HR-1-EBV with previously reported prototype type 1 EBV from B95-8.


Twelve Japanese White rabbits were inoculated with P3HR-1-EBV via intranasal or intravenous routes and autopsied on day 70-84.


In only 2 of 12 P3HR-1-EBV-inoculated rabbits, EBV-DNA was detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). BamHI M rightward reading frame (BMRF)-1, EBNA-1 and BamHI Z leftward reading frame (BZLF)-1-mRNA were intermittently expressed in PBMCs. In 1 infected rabbit with continuous detection of EBV-DNA in PBMCs, many EBER-1-positive lymphocytes were observed in germinal centers and/or marginal zones in some follicles of the appendix, and for the first time a lymphocyte with EBER-1 expression infiltrating in the squamous cell layer of the tonsils was found. The other rabbit with a transient detection of EBV-DNA in PBMCs had no EBER-1-positive lymphocytes in the tissues examined. Few EBER-1-positive lymphocytes were detected in some rabbits without detection of EBV-DNA in PBMCs.


P3HR-1-EBV showed less efficient infection in rabbits than EBV from the B95-8 cell line. However, a P3HR-1-EBV-inoculated animal model is meaningful because this is the first study of EBNA-2 function on in vivo EBV infection and it demonstrated the in vivo infectivity with lytic-type infection by EBNA-2-deleted EBV.

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